We were saying goodbye to Dunedin this morning but not before visiting Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. It’s got signage, a Guiness World record, and it’s own tourist shop to prove it! At points, its slope is 1:2.86 and a walk from bottom to top will give your heart and lungs a work out if you do it fast enough.
Fortunately, with 3 kids climbing the stairs, we took it more sedately. That was our excuse for all the photostops anyway.
At the top we met a woman sporting a wheelchair and a great sense of humour, who posed for some photos for us. If indeed she would have taken the quickest route down, she would have ended up somewhere in the South Pacific.
Dunedin to Christchurch is a fairly big drive; roughly 4.5 hours. But there was a great place to break up the journey along route – the Moeraki boulders. These are quite phenomenal natural wonders – large, spherical boulders seemingly thrown along a short stretch of beach, like a giant has been playing marbles. From internet research, I had discovered two things: 1) the best time to see them was low tide and, 2) it would be nigh on impossible to ever get a shot with no one in it.
As luck would have it, we got there on the wane of high tide and yup, there were still plenty of people around. However, on review, it was not a bad time to visit as the rocks were surrounded by water on the inward wave but there was just enough sand visible to get some great shots. Only the bravest dared jump across to the boulders so we were able to get many shots without tourists striking yoga poses in the background.
Christchurch was our home for the next two nights. We were staying by the coast (tsunamis be damned!) near one of the areas that was wiped out in the 2011 earthquake. It is now acres and acres of green parkland; lovely until you comprehended it was once a whole suburb.
One of my favourite memories from visiting Christchurch with my family decades ago was hiring canoes on the Avon River. Five children in charge of their own watercraft is something I fondly remember and although ours were a little young to recreate the experience, I did want them to have memories of punting on the picturesque river. The 18th century Antigua boatsheds provided us with a boat and a guide and all 7 of us piled in. It was a beguiling experience, calming floating along under the willows in the warm afternoon sunshine. A definite must-do for Christchurch.